Tony Snow Apologizes To David Gregory

From today’s WH Press Briefing (emph. added):

    DAVID GREGORY QUESTION: From a security point of view, does the president believe that it is the primary role of the U.S. military to be responsible for reducing the sectarian violence?

    And if that’s the case, or if it’s not the case, how does that inform his decision about what the U.S. troop posture should be: heavier on combat than on training?

    TONY SNOW: OK, before I get to that, I want to address something else. Because you and I had a conversation last week that got a whole lot of play in a lot of places, where I used the term “partisan” in describing one of your questions.

    And I’ve thought a lot about that, and that I was wrong. So I want to apologize and tell you I’m sorry for it.

    DAVID GREGORY: Thank you.

    TONY SNOW: And the reason I do that is not only because it’s the right thing, but because I want people in this room and also people who watch these to understand that the relations in this room are professional and collegial.

    And if I expect you to do right by us, you have every right to expect that I’ll do right by you.

    So, at any event, I just want to say I’m sorry for that.

    Now, let’s — now on the issue, because I know that this plays off some of the stories today, when it comes to what U.S. force strategies and postures are going to be, again, I’ll leave that to the president to announce when he describes the way forward.

    But let me, again, and I want to discourage people from taking too much, because there are going to be a lot of — a lot of people are going to talk about a lot of options.

    And many people are working on investigating options. And a lot will say, “Ah-ha, I’m working on this with the clear thought that that is the president’s view of the way forward.” Some are going to be right and some won’t. But the president has not made up his mind.

    It is important to understand that a vital part of having an Iraq that can sustain, govern and defend itself is an end to sectarian violence and also clear efforts to force insurgent groups, militias and criminal bands to make a clear choice. They have to face a choice: Either join civil society or be shut down.

    So you find out the most effective way to do that. And, again, I’m not going to prejudge, because that’s for the president to announce and not for me to announce.